There’s a report in the Chronicle today that tries to explain how Rafa has been working over his three years at the club.
Rafa was solely responsible for the choice of players coming into the club, and while players have been suggested to him by other people, it was his decision whether he wanted them.
On the other hand, Mike Ashley and company have the option not to fund some of Rafa’s choices, because, for example, they were too expensive, and that happened two years ago.
That’s when Rafa said he was signing the players he could sign and not the players he wanted to sign.
Rafa Benitez – wants total control of the transfer funds given to him
The Chronicle are reporting the club will agree to the same level of control Rafa has at the moment – but it seems that Ashley can still turn the manager’s request down – and that to us seems the point of contention.
Before Rafa arrived on the scene, the club’s transfer policy was carried out by committee with Lee Charnley and Graham Carr also having input when Steve McClaren was the manager.
But what does Lee Charnley know about football and players?
And you can get odd decisions coming out of committees (because the people in the committee have different ideas) and the standing joke is that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
The Chronicle makes an effort to point out that while Ashley can shoot down one of Rafa’s transfer targets and not bring the player in, for whatever reason – too expensive, too old – they also have not gone above his head and brought in players he didn’t know about and didn’t want.
But that’s hardly something that should even be brought up as a positive because when they did exactly that in September 2008 with Kevin Keegan, it was a complete disgrace.
But we think the real point of contention is that Rafa does not want Mike Ashley to be able to decide whether he wants to spend money on the player.
If that remains the case, then Ashley is still essentially controlling who comes in – as happened two years ago when they were second-rate (cheaper) players.
What Rafa wants is to be able to spend the transfer money as he sees fit, and if he wants to spend £30M on one player – so be it.
That level of financial control for Rafa seems to be something that Mike Ashley is not willing to give in to.
That’s likely where the deadlock lies at the moment.
We’ll just have to see if they can come to some agreement … as time goes by.
What do you think?